Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is tired of hearing that not supporting a wall means not supporting border security.
King, an independent who often sides with his Democratic colleagues, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday morning to defend border security without a wall and criticize President Donald Trump for keeping the government shut down.
The Maine senator touched on a catchphrase often used by Trump and other Republicans that insinuated Democrats are for “open borders.”
When will Republican leadership learn that they are being played like a fiddle by the Democrats on Border Security and Building the Wall? Without Borders, we don’t have a country. With Open Borders, which the Democrats want, we have nothing but crime! Finish the Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2018
“There’s nobody in the Congress who’s for open borders,” King rebuked. He added:
“I’m so tired of hearing you’re either for the wall or you’re for open borders. That’s nonsense. Everyone is for good border security. We’re just not for border security that doesn’t make either economic or practical sense.”
King even offered up that physical barriers are good border security in some cases but not in every place along the border, especially because the president keeps changing what he says the wall will look like, be made from, and who will fund it.
“One of the problems is we’ve never been given a plan that I know of. Where do you need wall, where do you need fence, where do you need sensors. The wall has become this mythic entity,” King argued.
“There may be places where everybody will agree, ‘Yeah, a wall makes sense there.’ But the problem is he’s styling this as the wall or nothing and we’re gonna keep the government closed. That’s not the way we make policy in this country.”
Watch the interview below:
But beyond the wall itself, King found an issue with the overall concept of a government shutdown fueled by Trump’s demand for fulfilling his biggest campaign rallying cry.
“This is not only about a wall, but it’s about a president that doesn’t seem to realize that there are constraints on what he can do,” King explained. “He can’t build a wall. And there are constraints in the Constitution, in the theory of this country, and that’s really what’s more deeply at stake here.”
King posed that Trump was ‘holding the government hostage” over his demand for a wall and invoked that the president was practicing a tyrannical policy.
“This is what the framers were worried about, was an executive that overreached and tried to act like a monarch. That was what the Constitution was all about in 1787,” he said.
The senator proposed to fund some of the government entities that have no relation to border security, such as the national parks and the Treasury Department, while the wall argument continues.